So, Mr. Ned Colletti, are you a mind reader, or something? How did you know I was writing my weekly column on how the Angels were making your employed look bad by making a waiver trade for Scott Kazmir, just in time to bolster their World Series hopes while you and your boss rested on your laurels?

The timing could not have been better. I was just saying how the Angels were doing all they can to bring a World Series trophy to Southern California by bringing Kazmir to the mound, and there you were, not really pulling the trigger on anything. Just as we published that column in Campus Circle, you go and bring in three nice little pieces of the puzzle in Jon Garland, Jim Thome and Ronnie Belliard.

Perhaps I should write more columns like the one I did earlier this week, just to put some fire underneath your seat. OK, perhaps it is not really me. Maybe you are starting to see the Giants in your rear-view mirror, and they are tailgating the Blue Crew quite closely. They will not be backing off anytime soon, either, not with Brad Penny joining a starting rotation that already includes current NL Cy Young champ Matt Cain, current NL Cy Young contender Tim Lincecum and former NL Cy Young winner Randy Johnson.

Of course, that Mickey Mouse of a baseball franchise a few miles to the south is all grown up now, what with last weekend’s Kazmir trade seriously making it look like the Angels were the only Southern California baseball team who actually were making an effort to be a title contender – a notion that was laughable for most of the team’s existence in the L.A. area.

Meanwhile, the other teams you had to potentially go through to even get to the World Series were also strengthening their pitching staffs. The Cardinals brought in John Smoltz, who has been lights out since arriving on the mound in St. Louis. Oh, those defending World Series champions, the Phillies, brought Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez to Philadelphia, vastly improving a team that was just 11 months removed from hoisting the World Series trophy into the southeastern Pennsylvania sky.

So, clearly, Mr. Colletti, you knew you had to do something if you wanted to compete. I mean, at the very least, you had to do something to prevent the whole of Southern California suddenly looking at the Angels as the class of professional baseball in the area, especially if they found themselves in the World Series against, say, Philadelphia or St. Louis.

Of course, I do not question you have been trying every possible avenue to shore up some glaring weaknesses on the Dodger roster – most notably, pitching. And, of course, you made a nice trade or two at the non-waiver trade deadline about four weeks ago, bringing in George Sherrill from Baltimore to strengthen the team’s bullpen.

But, things did not look very promising when the non-waiver trade deadline passed and Roy Halladay remained north of the border and Lee took a short flight from Cleveland to Philadelphia. Combined with the aforementioned moves by the Angels and Cardinals, well, Mr. Colletti, I am sure you started feeling the heat to make something – anything – happen.

After all, as much as I like what Sherrill has done in the bullpen since he arrived last month, I do not think that is enough to hang your hat on when bigger names like Kazmir, Smoltz, Lee, Penny and Martinez are all finding new homes with contending teams – those same teams who the Blue Crew will have to go through one way or another between now and Halloween.

That is what makes what you did just a few days ago so sweet. You did what you had to do – you went out and got help, and that help came in the form of Thome, Garland and Belliard.

Just like pulling off the Manny Ramirez deal in 2008, you got them cheap and last second. With the trade, you added a World Series-winning pitcher on the mound in Garland, a power hitting slugger in Thome and a solid infielder in Belliard.

It has only been about three days since you made these trades, Mr. Colletti, but fans have to like what you did with the team. Case-in-point: On Thursday night, fresh off two consecutive losses to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Belliard – in just his second game as a Dodger – finishes the evening two-for-three with three RBIs, leading his team to a 4-2 victory.

Oh, and Garland coincidentally made his first start as a Dodger that same night, retiring the last 14 batters he faced while pitching seven solid innings, giving up just two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and just one walk.

Thome really has not had a chance to do much yet, but you brought him in to be a pinch-hitter, so his value is in being that timely big hit when the Dodgers need it most during the playoffs – just like Matt Stairs did to the Dodgers in last season’s National League Championship Series.

So, good job, Mr. Colletti. Now, fans really cannot question you for not doing your job. Even if the Dodgers do not win a World Series this year, at least you did everything in your power to put the best team out on the field.

With the moves you made, you now gave the Dodger offense two hitters who rank 12th (Thome) and 15th (Ramirez) on the all-time home run list. You also gave the Dodger defense a well-rounded “reliever” in Belliard, who can give much-deserved breaks to Casey Blake or James Loney, which will definitely be critical for a deep playoff run. And, ultimately, you did what everyone was hoping you would do since spring training – you added a World Series-caliber pitcher to the starting rotation.

Even more, you prevented the Angels from saying they were the only team in Southern California who cared about winning a World Series. With the moves you made, now only the San Diego Padres are all alone in the “We’re Not Doing Much To Win” Club.

The kicker – this trade was made just in time for each acquisition to make the final playoff roster. I like this trade. With an offense that already includes Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier having career years (in addition to the likes of Ramirez and Thome), the rest of the National League best be shaking in their boots now.